IT Security For Libraries

LISTen: An Program -- Episode #229

This week's episode looks around the LISHost galaxy while looking at some ambiguous information in a speculative manner.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like A way to send gifts of replacement hardware to Erie Looking Productions is available here via Amazon, as always.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit

LISTen: An Program -- Episode #228

This week's program deals with Wikipedia hoaxing, an Internet icon, and a miscellany of brief items.

Related links:

Download here (MP3) (Ogg Vorbis), or subscribe to the podcast (MP3) to have episodes delivered to your media player. We suggest subscribing by way of a service like The list of hardware sought to replace our ever-increasing damage control report can be found here and can be directly purchased and sent to assist The Air Staff in rebuilding to a more normal operations capability.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. To view a copy of this license, visit

Simple tricks websites can use to fingerprint you

The "I Know..." series of blog posts shows relatively simple tricks [malicious] websites can use to coax a browser into revealing information that it probably should not. Firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-phishing scam black lists, and even patching your browser was not going to help.

Fortunately, if you are using one of today’s latest and greatest browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), these tricks, these attack techniques, mostly don’t work anymore. The unfortunate part is that they were by no means the only way to accomplish these feats.

I Know…

SEC4LIB The Place To Learn About IT Security Issues In Libraries

You might be interested in the new(ish) list where we talk about IT Security stuff, SEC4LIB. It's low volume and you'll probably learn a few things about security issues.

You may also like to check out the IT Security For Libraries section here at LISNews:

Hacker Group Breaches Library of Congress Site, Publishes Passwords

Hacker Group Breaches Library of Congress Site, Publishes Passwords
A group of hackers claims to have breached the official website of the Library of Congress, America’s national library.

The group claiming responsibility, BlitzSec, decried the wildly unpopular US Congress and said it used a SQL injection attack to access the Library of Congress Website's back end database and expose user names, passwords and email addresses. The group has posted data taken from the Library on the file sharing Web site Pastebin.

Are your mobile apps spying on you?

Are your mobile apps spying on you?
Why is this a big deal? Because phone numbers are some of the most personal information available about anyone. They are a semi-permanent unique identification number that also serves as a direct way to reach you at all times. Giving someone else your number means you trust them to not abuse it, call you at 3 a.m. for no reason, or spray paint it on a restroom wall.

But can you trust these Web apps -- especially those that grab your numbers without asking -- to not abuse it? The answer is that we shouldn't have to. Maybe now, thanks to the Path debacle, we won't.

A Research Agenda Acknowledging the Persistence of Passwords

A Research Agenda Acknowledging the Persistence of Passwords
Despite countless attempts and near-universal desire to replace them, passwords are more widely used and firmly entrenched than ever. Our exploration of this leads us to argue that no silver bullet will meet all requirements, and not only will passwords be with us for some time, but in many instances they are the solution which best fits the scenario of use. Among broad authentication research directions to follow, we first suggest better means to concretely identify actual requirements (surprisingly overlooked to date) and weight their relative importance in target scenarios; this will support approaches aiming to identify best-fit mechanisms in light of requirements. Second, for scenarios where indeed passwords appear to be the best-fit solution, we suggest designing better means to support passwords themselves. We highlight the need for more systematic research, and how the premature conclusion that passwords are dead has lead to the neglect of important research questions.

The secret stalker within your phone

If you've ever wondered just what's going on inside some of those apps on your phone, you'll want to take a look at this!
Secret iOS business; what you don’t know about your apps
Developers can get away with more sloppy or sneaky practices in mobile apps as the execution is usually further out of view. You can smack the user with a massive asynchronous download as their attention is on other content; but it kills their data plan. You can track their moves across entirely autonomous apps; but it erodes their privacy. And most importantly to me, you can jeopardise their security without their noticing; but the potential ramifications are severe.

Keeping Current In IT Security

I have a bunch of feeds in my feed reader dedicated to security now. You probably don't need to read that much about security! If so, here's an OPML file:

If that's too much (and it almost certainly is) here are some recommended sources I think you'll find will keep you up to date in the field, and won't overwhelm you with too much information!

Recommended - Easy To Follow:

SANS Newsletters

SANS Reading Room

Schneier on Security :

Naked Security – Sophos :

Security FAQs :

SANS Information Security Reading Room :

Security Intelligence:

Troy Hunt:

Brian Krebs:

Recommended - More In Depth:

Ars Technica Security:

SC Magazine:

Dark Reading:



TechRepublic: IT Security :


Packet Storm :

Security Bloggers Network :

Recommended - Podcasts:

15 tips for social media security in libraries

This is part Nine in my many part series on IT Security In Libraries.
Part 8 was the first half of this post, Social Media Security In Libraries
In Part 7 I listed many lists full of practical advice that covered just about everything dealing with IT security in libraries.
Part Six was really the first part of this post. I dealt with security in libraries, mostly theory, while this post is more practical, and is mostly lists.
In part 5 I covered 20 Common Security Myths, and how to defeat them.
Part 4 was a general "How To Stay Safe Online" post that covered topics like patching/updating, watching links and downloads, and using good passwords.
In Part Three I covered passwords.
In part 2 we talked privacy.
In Part One I tried to lay the foundation for security.

It is important all users understand there are real threats posed by social media sites. I'm not trying to scare you into hiding in a cave here, but you should know places like Facebook and twitter are infected with bad guys who are working hard to cause trouble for all of us. Those bad guys will try to connect with as many people as possible, creating a sense of trust that makes it easier to use people to carry out their plans. Common schemes include things like social media identity theft, taking over of a brand's social media presence, phishing, viruses, worms, and just about any other common online risk. I've collected 15 common and easy tips to make your social media sites as secure as possible.

  1. Understand and adjust your privacy settings
  2. Be sure you know what apps have access to your accounts
  3. Be very cautious about how you handle your account credentials
  4. Know how to recover accounts if they are compromised
  5. Whatch those emails that look like they come from facebook/Twitter
  6. Use HTTPS
  7. Use good passwords
  8. Think about what you're sharing
  9. Be skeptical of everything, especially ANYONE asking you for money
  10. Watch out for downloads
  11. Watch out for short links
  12. Just assume anyone can read everything you post, AND every post is
  13. Choose unique logins and passwords for each of the websites you use
  14. Make sure your OS, browsers and Plugins are all updated
  15. What if one day twitter/facebook/whomever just takes it away?


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